By Dirisu Yakubu
Kogi Guber: Ahead of the August 29 governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kogi State, some chieftains of the party, yesterday, warned against alleged removal and illegal substitution of delegates’ names from the original list earlier submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
The alleged plan to alter the delegates’ list, according to the stakeholders, was capable of throwing the party into turmoil ahead of the November 16 governorship election.
The group, who spoke under the aegis of Coalition of Kogi Progressives, CKP, described the alleged plot as “undemocratic, unconstitutional, anti-party and clearly damaging” to the fortunes of the party ahead of the election.
Spokesman of the group, Olusola Olumoroti, in a statement, accused Governor Yahaya Bello and key officials of the state government of being behind the move, warning, however, that the outcome could turn against the party, if not well handled.
The statement read: “The governor, his chief of staff and local government administrators are involved in the ridiculous and unconstitutional practice of impunity of substituting names of delegates.
‘’Currently, the plan has been effected in Ijumu and Olamaboro local government areas, while other local governments are expected to be perfected within the coming week.
‘’The alleged plan is said to be connected with the issue of trust among party ward and local government executives, as some of them were said to be working against the government and thus not likely to do the governor’s bidding.
‘’A reliable source told this medium in confidence that the plot was to produce new membership cards bearing names of the real delegates, but with passport photographs of those chosen to replace them embossed on the tags.
‘’This would make it easier to impersonate delegates, whose names were earlier submitted to INEC and the party headquarters and, afterwards, denied the real delegates access into the venue where the primary is expected to hold, using political thugs.’’
They called on the party to, as a matter of urgency, “review the criteria required to admit eligible delegates into the venue where the primary election is expected to hold, in order to expose any alleged impersonators.”
The statement also claimed that the government has put all necessary measures in place to create a tense atmosphere to intimidate and harass some of the delegates in question, in order to instill fear and possibly create voting apathy in them.”